Google Wants the World to Know It’s Working on a Big New Google Maps Feature

One of the new features coming to Google Maps on Android is the driving mode, which essentially turns the navigation app into a central hub for the experience behind the wheel.
Google Maps driving mode 1 photo
Photo: Google
Although the driving mode is currently available in a preview stage and only offered to Android users in the United States, Google is making a big deal about it, and the company this week turned to its main Twitter accounts to remind the world this feature is already available for testing.

Only that it continues to be offered to Americans exclusively, so if you noticed Google’s tweets and you live in another country, then we’re sorry, but you can’t try out the new driving mode.

Preview Google Assistant driving mode in Maps on your #Android phone, rolling out now in the U.S. Easily access what you need for your drive and quickly get things done all while keeping your focus on the road,” Google tweeted using the main Android account. “Now you can keep your focus on navigating while more easily answering calls and messages, without leaving Google Maps. Try the new Google Assistant driving mode on Android in the US,” it later added using the Google Maps account.

The driving mode is, without a doubt, a big update, and many expect this new experience to replace Android Auto for phones sooner or later.

Its interface is very similar to the one currently used by Android Auto for phones, and while Google Maps is the core of the app, users are also provided with large buttons to access essential features that make sense behind the wheel, such as phone calls, music players, and messaging.

Needless to say, Google Assistant also comes built-in in order to provide hands-free interaction with voice commands, though right now, it doesn’t look like Google plans to allow other navigation apps besides Google Maps.

There’s still no ETA as to when the new driving mode could launch in other countries.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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